Bruised and battered, Shane Victorino plans to start Game 6

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Shane Victorino’s right hand was bruised and swollen after being plunked by a 93-mph A.J. Burnett fastball in the first inning last night and he played the next seven innings in obvious pain before Ben Francisco finally replaced him.
Victorino was clearly having trouble gripping the bat and making throws from the outfield, constantly grimacing and shaking his hand, but despite how bad the injury looked X-rays on his index finger came back negative and the Phillies’ center fielder plans to start Game 6.
Francisco would likely draw the Game 6 assignment in center field if Victorino ultimately can’t go. He’s a capable hitter, particularly against left-handers like Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, but the defensive dropoff from Victorino to Francisco is huge.
In other words, today’s break in the schedule comes at a good time for the Phillies if it gives Victorino a chance to get reasonably healthy.

Yankees’ offense wakes up, leads way to 8-1 win vs. Astros in ALCS Game 3

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The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.

CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.

Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.

In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.

The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.